Greg from Jupiter, Florida writes:
If I was to download Linux, will my files in Microsoft still open without having Microsoft windows?
With the end of Windows XP, many people are thinking about switching to the Linux Ubuntu operating system. You can find programs similar to most Windows applications to run on Ubuntu, but many people still miss there favorite Windows programs. But there is a way around that. In part 1 of this series,  we showed you how to download and install Wine, a program that will enable you run many Windows programs on Linux Ubuntu.
In part 2, we’ll show you how to run an application using Wine. If you haven’t read part 1 yet, go back and learn how to install Wine on Ubuntu.
As soon as you installed wine successfully, you will be able to run Windows applications with .exe or .msi extensions. Simply go to the Windows application you have installed on your computer and right click on it to see some options. Left click on “Open With Wine Windows Program Loader” and you will be able to access the application just as you used to do with Windows.
Wine Application Compatibility
Wine is still a work in progress, so each and every Windows application won’t run through it. The best way to check, weather an application will work, is to search for the application in the Wine database . You can see the ratings and comments of previous users and that should give you a good idea which ones will work and which ones won’t. Applications are also rated according to Wine compatibility.
Applications are also rated according to Wine compatibility. Applications that would definitely work thorough Wine are rated as “Platinum.” Applications that won’t run through Wine are rated as “Garbage”.
Wine comes with a set of utilities such as “Configure Wine”, “Uninstall Wine Software” and “Winetricks”.
While configuring Wine you will get a lot of options such as choosing a driver, audio and graphics option and also your desired Windows version thorough which you wish to install a particular software like Windows XP, Windows 7 and etc.
“Uninstall Wine Software” let’s you uninstall any previously installed Windows software through Wine. Simply click on the required application from the given list and click on “Remove” option to uninstall the application.
“Winetricks” helps you automate some tasks. It is sort of a guide that helps you while installing some popular Windows applications. Instructions are given for specific applications, not for all.
Wine’s Virtual File System
Wine uses virtual file system, but it is kept hidden. To see it, go to .wine folder through Home folder and click one View > Show Hidden Folders. Now you can see a hidden folder named “Drive_C” which contains all Wine’s content.
You will also find a lot of help available in the Wine forums – where you can ask questions and learn from other users. 
~ Nelson Gomez